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Soldado ecstatic after Spanish high

Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 10.27CET
Roberto Soldado's treble in a 5-0 win against Venezuela gave the Valencia CF man "one of the happiest nights I've had as a footballer", with the stakes now raised for all Spain strikers.
by Graham Hunter
from La Rosaleda

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Published: Thursday 1 March 2012, 10.27CET

Soldado ecstatic after Spanish high

Roberto Soldado's treble in a 5-0 win against Venezuela gave the Valencia CF man "one of the happiest nights I've had as a footballer", with the stakes now raised for all Spain strikers.

Roberto Soldado was in raptures after his wonderful second-half hat-trick in Malaga propelled Spain to a 5-0 win against Venezuela in which Vicente del Bosque's players queued up to impress their coach. Andrés Iniesta, David Silva, Álvaro Arbeloa, Santi Cazorla and debutant Iker Muniain all made strong cases, and with David Villa injured and Fernando Torres out of sorts, Soldado's chances of a UEFA EURO 2012 place improved considerably.

Roberto Soldado, Spain forward
That was one of the happiest nights I've had as a footballer and now I just hope I can manage to have many more like it. I was lucky that the second half was a very open game – the team created lots of chances.

It's also true that the sending-off [of Fernando Amorebieta] allowed us more space to keep making those chances. In the end it is the strikers who grab all the glory and the headlines but what we achieved tonight was the fruit of everyone's excellent hard work.

Santi Cazorla, Spain midfielder
This showed the great state of Spanish football at the moment and how many good players we have. We showed we want to get back to playing well and winning friendly matches after a little period of not getting the results we wanted in such games. Today we showed intensity, speed and we ensured that the crowd really had a good night out.

It's easy to play alongside such great footballers and all the coach asked me to do was come on for Andrés [Iniesta] and copy how he'd been playing – especially to get "between the lines". You could see how easy it is to play with Roberto Soldado – he's a great striker and this proves that whoever goes to Poland in the summer, we are well covered for strikers. This kind of competition for places is good as it raises everyone's game.

Álvaro Arbeloa, Spain defender
I'm so happy for Roberto Soldado. He's waited so long for this great opportunity and he's taken advantage of it in the best way possible, by scoring goals. I'm delighted for him because he has deserved this. It's vital to take your chance with the national team because there are so few times we get together and it's important to show you are prepared and in form ahead of the [UEFA] European Championship.

Last updated: 26/10/12 14.27CET

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